• The Ukrainian government has downgraded its GDP forecast for 2017, Interfax-Ukraine reported. The forecast has fallen from 3% to 1.8%; the 2017 inflation estimate rose from 8.1% to 11.2%.
• The National Bank of Ukraine cut its key policy rate to 12.5%. According to cms-lawnow.com, the decision was taken to support economic growth in Ukraine and reach the country’s inflation targets set for 2017-2018.
• Ukrainian ag exports during the first quarter of this year were 38.6 percent higher than during the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food. Agriculture exports totaled $4.56 billion, or $1.26 billion more than during the same period last year.
• Ukraine is now the world’s 5th largest exporter of butter, Ukrinform reported, behind New Zealand in first place, then the EU, Belarus and the U.S. From January to April, Ukraine exported 3.47 tons of butter, which is 205.8% more than in 2016, and 157.9% more than in 2015.
• Ukraine’s state railway, Ukrzaliznytsia, made nearly $4 million profit during the first quarter of this year, the first after years of net losses, Unian reported. The company has undergone modernization since Polish businessman Wojciech Balczun was appointed CEO one year ago.
• The Ukrainian government will allocate $76 million to build a west-east highway from Lviv to Mykolaiv, Unian reported. According to Prime Minister Volodomyr Groysman, the new highway will run through Ternopil, Khmelnitsky, Vinnytsia, Uman and Odesa.
• Apple Pay may launch in Ukraine next year, PaySpace Magazine reported. This prospect was aired during the announcement of a new digital banking service, Alfa Digital, a division of Alfa-Bank.
• The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development has opened an office in Odesa. This will be EBRD’s first office in Ukraine’s southern region.
• NATO may open its tendering process to Ukraine. According to Ukroboronprom, tenders will focus on providing goods and services to NATO member armies.
• The Financial Commission of the Ukrainian government has passed a draft law on regulating money transfers including cryptocurrency like bitcoin. According to bitco.in, under the legislation, digital currency can be released to banks and other financial institutions.